Prop of the Land
DESCRIPTION: "Who is the prop and support of the land? Is it the rich or the poor I should ask?" "The prop of the land is the hard working man." He should have a fair day's pay for his work. Death calls all or the rich man would buy life while the poor would die.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(1683))
KEYWORDS: poverty commerce work hardtimes nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Williams-Thames, pp. 105-106, "Prop of the Land" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 155)
Palmer-Painful, #15, "Prop of the Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(1683), "Here's a Health to the Hard Working Man" ("Who is the prop and support of the land"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885
LOCSinging, as105290, "Here's a Health to the Hard Working Man" ("Who is the prop and support of the land"), Taylor's Song Mart (London), no date
NOTES: Williams-Thames ends with toasts to the swan, "house of industry," "every poor man's wife that drinks a health to her country." "If life was a thing that money could buy, The rich would live and the poor might die." Toast lots of wine, beer, nice wife and 10000 a year. Roud assigns a separate number, Roud #1255, to the toast.
The sentiment, "If life was a thing that money could buy, The rich would live and the poor would die," is common enough. See, for example, "All My Trials" and "Prop of the Land" (and even "Wild Rover No More") in this index. One follow-on, though not here, is "But God's infinite wisdom has ordered it so, That the rich and poor to the grave must go."
Another "rich would live and the poor would die" indexed here is "The Panic Is On." - BS
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